My Bloody Valentine/Spectrum – Apollo 28th June
I’d read the reports from blogo-land and seen the pictures from their London Roundhouse gig, but none of this, it seems, sufficiently prepared me for My Bloody Valentine at the Apollo on Saturday.
Support came from Spectrum, aka Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember and band. I was hoping for much more, but Spectrum didn’t deliver: mildly affecting dronage, only slightly memorable because of the peculiar sight of Mr Boom walking around the stage (with a strange gait) adjusting amplifiers with no apparent or discernable difference to the resulting sound.
You can see why MBV are so influential – I spent a lot of the evening trying to work out how they achieved their sound and goggling at the innovation on show. Yet since Saturday I’ve been thinking a lot about this review and subsequently struggling to locate MBV in an adjective category. In fact, I’ve given up trying to work out if they were any good or not.
The best I can come up with is: “MBV were an experience I’m glad I’ve had, but never want to repeat”. Why? Because it all comes down to that section in set finisher ‘You made me realise’.
Now I’ve seen Japanese noise-architect Merzbow in full flow. I’ve also seen Magic City doing his glitch/noise/satanic metal thing at the Star and Garter. So I was full of bravado and arrogant confidence that it couldn’t be that loud.
How wrong I was.
A list of what I experienced during the noise middle-eight :
- Delight in the sheer corporeality of noise.
- Hilarity at the total stupidity of it.
- Total and utter boredom.
- Aural and visual disorientation
- Actual and very real nausea.
And that was just the first five minutes (arf). We got 25 fucking minutes of it (and yes, I did time it)
And that’s all I can say.
Bleed your ears here